WASHINGTON — Scott DesJarlais, a freshman GOP congressman from Tennessee and doctor, admitted a romance with a patient, but he denied it was out of bounds for his rocky marriage or that the woman got pregnant and had an abortion.
In an email to backers Friday evening, DesJarlais — an anti-abortion, “family values” congressman — acknowledged they had reason to think poorly of him. But he pleaded for understanding, claiming his fling with the patient occurred while he was legally separated from his then-wife.
“You have probably seen the recent media coverage regarding details of my divorce from over a decade ago. I had genuinely hoped this election would be about my record in Congress -– not a 12 year old divorce,” DesJarlais wrote. He charged that his opponent in next month’s election, Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart, was using dirty tricks against him.